Transfer of Jurisdiction of U.S. Command in Middle East Approved

A major revision of U.S. command structure which will transfer jurisdiction of the Middle East, including the Israel-Arab area, and much of Africa from the Navy to the Army-led Strike Command has been approved by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara.

The Washington Post reported today that formal announcement awaits only formal White House and State Department concurrence. Admiral C.D. Griffin, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval forces in Europe, will turn over command of the Middle East, including the United Arab Republic, the Arabian Peninsula, India, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to Gen. Paul Adams, U.S. Army Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Strike Command, whose army-air force strike command has headquarters in Florida.

The controversial reorganization represents a defeat for the Navy, which stresses the advantages of the aircraft carrier and Navy-Marine amphibious forces, over army arguments that airlifted troops from the United States can get to trouble areas first. There has been no decision as to putting the Navy and Marine corps under General Adams’ command.

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